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Av8ferg

Steering wheel restoration.

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C0F3B135-DB51-4B58-9441-A549FB68EC6C.jpegSo, I’ve stumbled upon two 240z steering wheels in the past couple weeks during my junkyard explorations.  They were really rough but were only $30 so I thought I attempt a home restoration.  I thought I’d share my experience in this process.  I know there are other posts but I don’t think anyone has posted a wheel that looked as bad as the one I’m restoring. 

I’ve completed the clean up and strip down.  I used a small palm sander for the metal with 240 grit and 320 grit wet sand on the wood.  I’ve masked the wood off and will prime, paint and clear coat the metal today.  

Here is the wheel as it looked after pulling for the rusted Z.  

It had some green algae on it too.  Car was in a pseudo swap in Mississippi with no drivers door so I wasn’t surprised.  

 

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Edited by Av8ferg
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So the wood/resin wheel portion of this steering wheel of mine sanded has that straw look you mentioned but wasn’t the original color a reddish mahogany. I was going to re-tint and then coat with a glossy polyurethane.


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It seems the darker reddish-brown colour is from material aging (UV, hand oil/dirt). All early pictures I have seen indicate a light straw coloured wheel.

 

 

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Interesting, I’m restoring a shift knob I found on the same car. Was going to match them. I’ll post pics


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I used 0000 steel wool on mine then satin black on the metal. Looks good to me.

Gear knob was dipped in minwax helsman satin poly about 20 times over a month or so. It filled in the cracks on the shift pattern map.

 

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Here is the knob sanded down. The shift knob map was totally destroyed. Trying to tint both the wheel and knob to match. Won’t be easy because they’re different materials and won’t accept color the same.
Speaking of the shift knob map. A 5 speed Nissan one seems impossible to find but the old Toyota one looks almost identical. I just wonder if the diameter is the same.
Here’sf41c6942ad281079e0d1a907725c003c.jpg the shift knob map on a old FJ. It’s only $12



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11 hours ago, Av8ferg said:

I don’t think anyone has posted a wheel that looked as bad as the one I’m restoring.

That is pretty bad, you definitely win the award if you can bring that one back.

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I think the "wood" on the steering wheel is actually a resin of sorts that looks like wood. I would be surprised if it accepted stain or other treatments made for wood.

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a3ce0cdfaaa3275f2b5685d4b74f3074.jpg

Metal bars came out pretty good. Gonna let the paint cure for 24hrs and then start on the wood.

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I used a stain on mine and it’s much to dark.  I sprayed it with a couple coats of polyurethane.  Would like to sand it bac down to a lighter tone

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7 hours ago, Jaymanbikes said:

I used a stain on mine and it’s much to dark.  I sprayed it with a couple coats of polyurethane.  Would like to sand it bac down to a lighter tone

It still looks beautiful!  Great work!

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Interesting, I got a light gun stock stain but now reconsidering using it after your comment. Maybe I’ll test a small area first with plain polyurethane. After sanding the resin wheel portion it had a nice light straw look and when I rinsed it off it got surprisingly dark while moist. Maybe the polyurethane will act the same but with a shine. Will post my results later today.

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12 hours ago, bingo said:

I think the "wood" on the steering wheel is actually a resin of sorts that looks like wood. I would be surprised if it accepted stain or other treatments made for wood.

The rim is wood impregnated resin - it readily accepts stain.

Steering Wheel WIP.jpg

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What color stain did you use for that. I like the reddish tint.


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8 minutes ago, jfa.series1 said:

Red mahogany.

Did you apply polyurethane afterwards?  Red Mahogany is the color I recently purchased but was afraid it would be too dark.

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That is awesome, I might have to do that to mine now - I never did it because I was worried it would be a sticky mess since it is a plastic/resin of sorts. Good to know that it is wood impregnated.

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The sales rep just tested a can of minwax Red Mahogany in a wood stickz It was SUPER dark brownish. Gonna try something else


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1 hour ago, Jaymanbikes said:

Did you apply polyurethane afterwards?  Red Mahogany is the color I recently purchased but was afraid it would be too dark.

I applied multiple coats of lacquer that held up for about 5 years.  Ultimately the oil from my hands caused a breakdown.  Its time to redo it, will likely use poly.

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Upper left "Natural" looks like factory.


Yeah, you’re probably right. I’m not sure I’m a fan that. I have three steering wheels. This will be my test case.
Interesting, the nicest one I have had a leather wrap on it when I bought it from a guy in Montana that owned the car for a decade. The wrapped looked like it was from the 70’s. Under it was pretty dark so I’m doubtful it was ever refinished. They may have changed the colors as the production progressed. Here a pic of that wheel.
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